One of the most cherished rivalries in all of sports will be renewed this Saturday, December 10 as the Army Black Knights will meet the Navy Midshipmen at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA.
The pregame entrances of the cadets and the midshipmen. The “prisoner exchange”. “Honoring the fallen” after the game. This rivalry is chock full of pageantry and traditions that have persisted for generations. Before we dive into the 123rd edition of the game, let’s take a look at the history of the Army-Navy Game.
History of Army vs. Navy
Total games played: 122
Record: Navy leads 62-53-1
The series between the two service academies began in 1890, when Navy defeated Army 24-0 in Army’s very first football game. The two teams would meet regularly over the next four decades as both programs entrenched themselves into the early history of the growing sport. The rivalry was officially solidified as an annual occurrence in 1930, with a vast majority of the matchups being held in Philadelphia.
The golden age of the rivalry on the field came in the 1940’s when both programs established themselves as national powers during World War II. Navy won five straight from 1939-1943 before Army won five of the next six with the likes of Heisman Trophy winners Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis dominating out of the backfield. Navy would regain the upper hand in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s with a pair of Heisman winners in Joe Bellino and Roger Staubach leading the way.
Both teams would enjoy various runs of dominance over the other over the next few decades until the Midshipmen completely took over in the 2000’s. From 2002 until 2015, Navy rattled off a series record 14 straight victories before Jeff Monken’s 2016 Black Knights squad finally broke the streak with a 21-17 victory. Army would win three of the next five as the rivalry began to even out again.
Last year’s game
The 2021 game saw Navy defeat Army 17-13 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. The Black Knights took a 13-7 lead into halftime before Midshipmen quarterback Tai Lavatai marched his team on a 10-play, 74-yard drive to take the lead. The Navy defense would clamp down for the rest of the game to clinch the victory for the Middies.
Odds for 2022 game via DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: Navy -2.5
Moneyline: Navy -135, Army +115
Army (5-6) has had an up-and-down season and and is trying to end it on a positive note with a victory against its arch-rival in Philadelphia. Tyhier Tyler was effective as Army’s triple-option quarterback this season, rushing for 601 yards on five yards per carry and 12 touchdowns on the year. The Black Knights are trying to avoid their second straight loss to Navy and third loss in four years for the rivalry.
Navy (4-7, 4-4 AAC) was inconsistent throughout the season and is also looking to end the season with a huge win over its arch-rival. The Midshipmen could not get over the hump against teams with a talent advantage most of the team, with losses coming against the likes of Houston, Cincinnati, and Notre Dame. They did, however, secure a 17-14 upset victory over No. 20 UCF a few weeks ago, a game where the Mids held possession for just under 40 minutes of game time.